ITINERARY BY DAY
DAY 1 – HO CHI MINH CITY – ARRIVAL
Upon arrival to Ho Chi Minh City, our guide and driver will provide transport to the hotel for check in. After checking in, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to relax at the hotel or explore the city independently.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
DAY 2 – HO CHI MINH CITY
Ho Chi Minh City is a destination rich in activities that will keep all members of the family entertained. Begin the 9-day tour with a 1.5 hour drive to Cu Chi for exploration of its infamous tunnels (as an optional extra the return journey can be taken by speedboat along the Saigon River). The famous Cu Chi Tunnels consist of an incredible underground network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during both the French and American wars. Visitors can crawl through the tunnels, learning about how the soldiers and their families lived during wartime periods.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon for a special tour of Cholon, the city’s Chinatown district. Travel by xe lam, local trucks with long benches in the back perfect for zipping around the city. During the tour, discover the markets and shops of the area, and also the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda. Here children can light some incense coils that can burn up to 10 days and make a wish at the same time.
At the end of the day, watch a traditional music show in a private home… participation is always welcomed! Return to the hotel late this afternoon for a chance to relax.
This evening have dinner at a popular BBQ restaurant for a ‘grill your own meal’. The whole family will join in, preparing their own food in the lively atmosphere.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 3 – HO CHI MINH CITY – CAI BE – OVERNIGHT CRUISE
This morning, leave bustling Ho Chi Minh for the 2.5-hour drive to the delta town of Cai Be. The brilliant colors and bustling markets of the Mekong Delta will delight kids as well as adults.
Arrive in Cai Be at noon, then board the Bassac. A welcome drink will be given on arrival followed by an introduction to the ship and crew. Depart towards Cho Lach on the Tien Giang River and enjoy lunch on the upper deck while en route. Rest on the deck while the ship branches into the Cho Lach Canal for 30 minutes through the traffic of sand and rice barges, passing fruit drying facilities and around wooden ship building yards.
Visit a village on the banks of river Mang Thít to soak in the way of life here in the Delta. There will also be a chance to visit one of the orchards or rice fields nearby.
Back on board the Bassac a complimentary drink will be served; sit back and enjoy the sunset overlooking the Mekong’s magical waterways.
Dinner will be served whilst the Bassac cruises the Mang Thit River towards the Bassac’s anchorage point for the night, downstream from the little market of Tra On.
Overnight aboard the Bassac Boat.
DAY 4 – CAN THO
Begin the day with a delicious breakfast while the boat cruises towards Can Tho. Upon arrival to Can Tho, check out of the cabin and transfer onto a local boat to visit the Cai Rang floating market.
Cruise through the floating market which bustles with wholesalers on large vessels. Here, during the early morning market hours, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The main items sold here are fruit and vegetables, with each boat advertising their goods for sale on long, upright poles at the ship’s bow. The waterway becomes a maze of boats packed with mango, bananas, papaya, pineapple, and even floating pho vendors.
Return to land and have lunch in Can Tho.
This afternoon, spend time cycling around the quiet laneways and dirt paths of Can Tho. Biking is the perfect way to discover the countryside with the family. The roads are flat and the sites are amazing: cottage industries, small farms harvesting or planting rice, hidden temples and lots of friendly locals who will come out to interact.
Overnight in Can Tho
DAY 5 – CAN THO – HO CHI MINH CITY
After breakfast, resume the drive back to Ho Chi Minh City (the journey takes about 4-hours).
Upon reaching Ho Chi Minh City, our guide and driver will provide transport to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 6 – HO CHI MINH CITY – DALAT
Begin the morning with an early flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat. Dalat was a popular hill station retreat during French Colonial times and since then has been a popular destination for domestic tourists. Dalat is known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ for its cool climate and rich variety of agricultural produce (including coffee, vegetables and flowers.) The surrounding region is flush with mountains, waterfalls and pine forests. Upon arrival, our guide and driver will provide transport to the hotel for a check in and a short rest.
Today enjoy discovering the fresh air and countryside of Dalat on foot. Start hiking along locally cut trails meandering along pine trees. The trail ultimately leads to the stunning Tiger Waterfall. Continue on to the Phoenix Waterfall flowing slowly through colossal old trees. The river that feeds the falls is the main source for water supplying the coffee and vegetable farms of the area.
After crossing the hill, stop to visit Lieng Tro, a local minority village, for a first hand-look at their daily activities. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the top of the hill with fantastic views of the river rushing along the beautiful valley. After lunch, follow trails down the hill and enjoy the adventurous feeling of crossing hanging bridges. Kindly note that the trekking route and distance may be adjusted depending on weather conditions as well as the age of the children and fitness and energy levels.
Return to the hotel. Dinner and the remainder of this evening are at leisure.
Overnight in Dalat
DAY 7 – DALAT – NHA TRANG
This morning enjoy a cycling excursion to discover more of the scenic Dalat countryside. After breakfast, our private vehicle and guide will provide pick up around 09:00 for the transfer to the biking starting point. Begin cycling for a stretch of approximately 7 km with fantastic views of Xuan Huong Lake and Victory Lake. Continue to cycle through the hilly pine forest to the top of the mountain to catch the endless green forest near the Valley of Love. Enjoy a picnic lunch here with breads, typical fresh fruits and vegetables of Dalat. Kindly note that the cycling distance and route can be adjusted depending on weather conditions as well as the age of the children and fitness and energy levels.
After lunch, bike back to the starting point and then transfer approximately 3 hours by road to Nha Trang city, located on the coast.
The remainder of today and this evening are at leisure.
Overnight in Nha Trang
DAY 8 – NHA TRANG
Enjoy the morning at leisure and in the afternoon (around 16:00) embark on a ‘streets and eats’ tour of Nha Trang via cyclo. Our guide and local cyclo drivers will provide pick up at the hotel and will follow up with a unique photo opportunity at the beach square.
Now that the hottest portion of the day has passed, enjoy the refreshing cyclo ride through the city. Stops will be made at the outside of the Nha Trang cathedral and the Ponagar temple as well as at the main harbour. As the sun sets, walk across the bridge over the Cai River with the colourful fishing boats below.
As we explore by cyclo, different stops will be made to sample some of the renowned Nha Trang street food and local specialities, including ‘banh can’ (a grilled round rice cake), nem nuong (Nha Trang style Fresh Spring Rolls), grilled sea shells, and a long time popular local BBQ eatery. We finish by enjoying a Vietnamese coffee or fruit dessert sitting on the sidewalk with the locals, while watching the world and time passing by.
Return to the hotel by cyclo and the remainder of the evening is at leisure.
Overnight in Nha Trang.
DAY 9 – NHA TRANG – HO CHI MINH CITY – DEPARTURE
This morning our guide and driver will provide transport to Nha Trang’s airport for the flight south to Ho Chi Minh City. From Ho Chi Minh’s Tan Son Nhat, catch the departing flight.